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The Turning Point of Peter Pan: Barrie’s Pantaloon and American Premiere of Peter Pan

JUN, JOON-TAEK 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Barrie’s Lord Chamberlain’s Copy of Peter Pan must have been rejected because of its subversive harlequinade proved by the abrupt stage direction of British premiere, “Eliza enters from L. with Harlequin Wand.” Barrie finally decided to remove the harlequinade and moved its function to the entire play. This strategy was suggested first in his subsequent one act play, Pantaloon, a kind of an obituary for the harlequinade characters of pantomime. Thus Pantaloon became a turning point of future Peter Pan as its three theses were reflected in his subsequent American premiere. First Barrie changed the structure of the play into five acts to disperse and strengthen the transformation effects of the harlequinade. Second Peter ceased to be Harlequin after beating Hook and dedicated himself to the trickster role of the Clown. Hook also became pedantic to reflect his role of a schoolmaster in the harlequinade. Third as Clown became an equally tragic figure with Pantaloon in Pantaloon, Peter for the first time became tragic as well with Wendy. Barrie finally concluded that escape from time cannot be a wholly satisfactory solution to the human situation though he continued to be against the Censor throughout his writing career of Peter Pan.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.